Following the early success of their first two musical offerings, Wanderer and Mirrors, released back in April and May respectively, enigmatic German duo Distinct Minds continue their fine run of 2020 form, with the release of their next original single, Breakout. Fascinated by the cyclical nature of artistic trends and the inherent notion of Duality – a concept which has served as a distinct point of departure for all of the act’s creations to date – Breakout sees the inscrutable two-man outfit deliver another exquisite slice of synth-driven nostalgia, energised by chugging synthesisers, retro drum machines and an unmistakeable topline, courstesy of vocalist iDo.
As the duo gear up to release part one of their eagerly anticipated release of their debut album Duality on October 9, we caught up with them to find out more.
Hello guys! It’s great to have you with us today at DMCWORLD – thank you for speaking with us!
Hey guys! It is our pleasure. Thanks for having us.
To start off, do you mind introducing yourselves?
We are Distinct Minds a producer & live act from Germany. Our project just launched in April this year and we are calling our sound Synthwave Electronica, with which we really want to capture a blend of the past and the future.
Where are you based at the moment and how has the year been for you so far given the global situation?
We are currently based in our shared house in Germany, where we work, live & make music. The situation for this year of course – as for everyone – was pretty unforeseen, and a really hard time for clubs and festival, and the industry as a whole. We’ve luckily stayed healthy, as well as our family and close friends. That’s the most important thing! Otherwise we’ve just been focusing on creating music and getting outside. This year has actually been pretty exciting in a way, because we’ve been working on this project for several years now and finally launched in April, so we’re trying to focus on all the positives we can. Being able to share our music with everyone is really exciting.
You’ve carved out a very distinctive style of electronic music which you describe as ‘synthwave electronica’. Can you expand on that?
We always had a passion for electronic-driven music, especially the more melodic side of techno. We started producing that style of music together, but wanted to lean into the more bright and remarkable melodies of snyth-driven 80s music that also inspired us outside of the linear world of techno.
At some point, we thought:
Why don’t we just combine all of our musical preferences and try to form something new out of it. This was the time “Distinct Minds” & “Synthwave Electronica” was born!
It was a pretty natural process and we are really happy to discovered our musical identities through this process.
Who would you say are your greatest musical influences?
Rufus Du Sol, Depeche Mode, Kylie Dixon, Michael Stein
Can you talk to us about your new single ‘Breakout’?
Breakout portrays the more energetic site of Distinct Minds. We wanted to make a single that was big and inspiring in its messaging, but also could work both on a dance floor and while listening to music at home. The track is about breaking out of things that are holding us back, even when we don’t know what lies ahead, it’s something universal that we feel everyone can connect to.
Once we had the instrumental final we were missing something out in the track and discovered the beautiful and unique voice of iDO an Australian singer/songwriter. It was just the perfect extension to the track and in our opinion, in combination with the instrumental, really leaves a lasting impression, when listening to it.
How does it differ from your previous singles ‘Mirrors’ and ‘Wanderer’?
Mirrors is a purely instrumental track, where we focused on putting every possible detail into the melody. Wanderer also has this catchy melody as a core element in the track, but still works in combination with a vocal. Each track brings a different feel that are all part of the same musical journey. Wanderer is much more introspective, about being lost in the world while Mirrors is thematically more about the feeling of self-discovery. Breakout feels like the next step in this process of self-discovery.
Distinct Minds is all about having several musical core principles and pushing them into different musical directions, without losing our signature. We want to develop a wide landscape of music, not thinking in genres or trends, rather about which emotion we want to transmit.
We’re told that the first part of your debut album is due for release this October. What can fans expect from that?
The first part of Duality consists of six tracks. Two of them – Breakout & Fading – are a collaboration with Australian singer/songwriter iDo. Breakout as previously mentioned is the emotional pinnacle, the big ‘ah-ha’ moment of our EP, while Fading is a slightly more emotional & melancholic piece.
The introduction, Entering, is all about guiding the listener into the world of Distinct Minds. It’s also showing our love for film music, inspired by the likes of Hans Zimmer.
Light Of The Desert & Mirrors play with bright and energetic melodies combined with house and techno-driven beats, showcasing our original roots in music.
Wanderer is a perfect mixture of all musical influences we have for Distinct Minds.
As a whole, we hope people are able to connect with every element of our sound – from the more techno-influenced instrumentals to the melodies fo the vocally-driven tracks.
What was the idea behind breaking the album up into two parts? And when will the second instalment see the light of day?
Our idea with Distinct Minds is to take our listeners & fans on a musical & visual journey, from start to finish. In our eyes, it felt too quick to release a full album in the first year of the project – we wanted to give people the opportunity to get on board at the beginning of the journey and be part of it with us, rather than releasing large a body of work and waiting for people to catch up. We felt more comfortable with splitting the twelve tracks into two releases, without losing the focus on releasing a larger piece of music listeners can dive into.
We love the art direction for the project. How did you come across Indig0 and what’s it been like working with her?
We have been big fans of Indig0 for several years now and her feel for visual aesthetics is just exceptional!
With the artistic vision in mind we had, she just felt like the perfect partner to work with on this project. We reached out with a cold email sending her our music, and she mentioned that she gets a lot of her inspiration for her art through music, and liked our sound, so it worked out really nicely for us. She has been amazing in her ability to bring our vision to life.
If you could offer one piece of advice to an aspiring artist, what would it be?
Take enough time to find your personal & musical identity. It’s something that takes a long time, and we feel it’s always worth it to take time to find it and not rush things out into the world.
It has been a difficult few months globally but hopefully things can begin to improve soon. What are you most looking forward to doing when some level of normality returns?
We really want to bring the Distinct Minds experience on stage. We are already working on a concept for that and can’t wait how the reaction will be on that.
Thank you for speaking with us today guys! We wish you all the best for the rest of the year!
Thanks for having us!
Distinct Minds – Duality (Part One) will be released on October 9